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12 Modifiable Risk Factors For Dementia Identified

In 2017, the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors that could help delay or prevent dementia. Now the commission has released a new report that adds three more risk factors to the list. According to the commission, modifying all 12 risk factors could help delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases worldwide.

The nine risk factors identified in the first report were:

  1. Mid-life hearing loss
  2. Hypertension
  3. Obesity
  4. Smoking
  5. Depression
  6. Less education early in life
  7. Social isolation
  8. Physical inactivity
  9. Diabetes after the age of 65

In their new report, the commission identifies excessive alcohol intake, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution exposure later in life as additional risk factors for dementia. They also recommend specific actions to take in order to modify the 12 risk factors:

  1. Maintain systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or less;
  2. Use hearing aids or hearing protection when needed;
  3. Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and air pollution;
  4. Prevent head injury;
  5. Limit alcohol use;
  6. Avoid smoking or quit smoking;
  7. Provide primary and secondary education to all children;
  8. Reduce obesity and incidences of diabetes
  9. Engage in regular physical activity at all ages.

The study was conducted by researchers from University College London. It was published on July 30, 2020 inThe Lancet.

 

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